March 15, 2024

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1960 Olympic 5,000-meter champion Murray Halberg dead at 89

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1960 Olympic 5,000-meter champion Murray Halberg dead at 89

Murray Halberg, who overcame a severe injury to win the 5,000-meter gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics and later dedicated his life to charitable work, has passed away. He was 89.

Athletics New Zealand, which provided no cause of death information, confirmed his passing. Athletics New Zealand described Halberg as “one of the most iconic names in New Zealand sport.”

In addition to winning gold in the three-mile race at the 1958 and 1962 Commonwealth Games, Halberg was the first person from New Zealand to run a mile in under four minutes.

Despite the fact that he had a withered left arm from a rugby injury he sustained as a teenager, he managed to achieve all of those successes.

Later, his work with the Halberg Trust, which encouraged disabled children to play sports, helped him become best known in New Zealand. The Halberg Disability Sports Foundation is the organization’s new name.

For athletes aged eight to 21 with a physical or visual impairment, the Halberg Games are held annually over three days. The Halberg Award is given annually to New Zealand’s Sportsperson of the Year.

“He was truly a legend of New Zealand athletics,” Grant Robertson, the minister of sports, said. “But his contribution has gone far beyond that.

“To assist kids with disabilities in sport and recreation, he founded the Halberg Trust in 1963. Generations of New Zealanders have had their lives changed by Sir Murray thanks to the Trust. His vision is confirmed by the unbridled joy we see at the Halberg Games every year.”


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